Netflix and TikTok suspend services in Russia

(RTTNews) – Netflix Inc. and TikTok have joined the long list of companies suspending or withdrawing their Russian operations due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The media companies’ move comes amid Russia’s new fake news law, which limits reporting on the war in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law last Friday providing for prison terms of up to 15 years for anyone spreading false information about the Russian military and publicly calling for sanctions against Russia.

Netflix, the popular video streaming service, said it was closing all of its operations in Russia. A few days earlier, Netflix, with around 1 million users in Russia, reportedly temporarily suspended all future projects and acquisitions in the country over the same concerns.

TikTok, a video-focused social networking service with a billion users worldwide, said it was suspending live streaming in Russia and new content from the video service.

In a series of tweets, TikTok said: “In light of Russia’s new ‘fake news’ law, we have no choice but to suspend live streaming and new content from our video service for that we are reviewing the security implications of this law. Our in-app messaging service will not be affected.”

According to the company, while an outlet for creativity and entertainment to provide a source of wartime relief and human connection in the midst of immense tragedy and isolation, security employees and users remains its top priority.

TikTok added that it would continue to assess changing circumstances in Russia to determine when to safely resume services completely.

Major media companies, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, have already blocked their services to Russia or ceased operations from the country due to mounting pressure from the public and authorities to act against Russia under the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Search giant Google has suspended all advertising in Russia. The decision covers all of Google’s advertising surfaces in Russia, including Google display advertising, YouTube and search.

Russian internet watchdog Roskomnadzor had recently accused YouTube of running ad campaigns to misinform Russian citizens about the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Among others, technology majors Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. suspended all sales and services in Russia, while payment companies Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. decided to cease all transactions in the country.

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